86 THE GAY GENIUS stumped, "I can tell you why," said Su Tungpa "The Book of Poetry says [in a poem of satire]: 'O turtledove! O turtledove! He has seven young.' > The seven young, plus their two parents, make nine, don't you see?" The character for "waves" or "ripples" is written with the classifier radical designating water, and a phonetic component which happens to denote skin. It struck Wang's fertile imagination that the character for ripples was so constructed because "ripples were the skin of water". Su Tungpo met him one day and wittily remarked: "If so, then the word for slippery must be constructed that way because it means the bones of water!' (The phonetic component in this case happens to mean bones,) Wang Anshih violated the very elementary principles of the? structure of the Chinese literary symbols. The way he mutilated a "root", riving it in half and misconnecting it with another component, as he did in the character for "rich" (jfo), would make any philologist weep. Some Chinese scholars of later days, following Western ideas of collectivism, have tried to rescue Wang Anshih from historical infamy and revise his reputation upward by showing that his ideas were essentially "in conformity with modern socialism".* Among those who took up the defence of Wang Anshih was a great modern scholar, Liang Chichao. It would be possible to argue the pros and cons of? Wang's socialistic ideas, but Wang's socialistic regime must be judged by its results. The facts are that in place of "private monopoly" the state set up its own monopoly; small business-men were thrown out of jobs, and farmers, unable to repay the compulsory loans or keep up the interest, sold their wives and children or fled, and their neighbours who were made guarantors of the loans fled with them or sold or mortgaged their properties. The country jails were full, every district government found thousands of closed mortgages and confiscated properties on its hands, and lawsuits filled the courts. It was a mis- rule that would have ruined any dynasty, even if there were no foreigrr invaders. In 1074 an imperial edict said that business was at a stand- still and people were thrown out of their jobs; and another edict inj 1076, which stopped the loans, said that many were jailed and flogged for failure to repay them. In a memorandum sent in June, 1090, some twenty years later, when he was trying to salvage the economic wreckage left of the countryside and begging for restoration of con- *-For the argument advanced in defence'of Wang, see brief statement in Section K, Bibliography.